McCray and Burt named NCAA senior football MVPs
Notre Dame’s Marshall McCray and Blessed Trinity’s Hayden Burt were named the offensive and defensive MVPS of the Niagara Catholic Athletic Association senior football league.
McCray, Notre Dame’s quarterback, received five votes for the award and Blessed Trinity running back Jayden Gurzi McDonald finished second with one vote.
The defensive MVP award was a three-way battle with Burt earning three votes, Denis Morris defensive end Michael Ukiomogbe receiving a pair of selections and Notre Dame defensive tackle Braydon Snider placing third with one vote.
Notre Dame head coach Tm Bisci was effusive in his praise for McCray.
“Marshall is the best football player in Niagara. He was last year and he backed it up again this year. There is no player better. It is not a slight against any other player, he is just that good,” he said. “No single player has caused so many coaches so much anxiety the past two years. He is a generational talent, he absolutely loves the game and out-works everyone in the off-season. It was easy to see why so many university scouts called us and came to our practices and games.
The 12B player led the Fighting Irish to an appearance in the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association semifinals.
“He is strong, fast and so athletic,” Bisci said. “ He can beat you with his feet and he has a strong accurate arm that causes defensive coaches nightmares. He has a high football IQ and he makes great decisions on the field.”
Blessed Trinity coach Mark Antonelli’s comments about Burt were equally complimentary.
“Hayden Burt possesses a unique combination of speed and size that nobody else possesses in the Niagara region. As a defensive lineman and an offensive guard, he single-handedly helped us get to the level of play not seen at BT in a few years’,” he said. “Our success on the ground offensively can be attributed to his physical dominance. Defensively, he was able to shut down opponent’s offence by demanding double teams exclusively, allowing for our linebackers to be freed up.”
But that’s not all.
“What really makes Hayden special, however, is his willingness to want to play on kickoff, punt and other physically demanding special teams that very few other top high school players would be willing to do,” Antonelli said. “It is an old school mentality that is absent in today’s young football player. If he wants it, he would not only be a top USPORT prospect that could parlay into All-Canadian status, but he would have the size, frame and skill to play in the CFL as well. I don’t think I have seen someone of that level in our region since perhaps the Ford brothers.”
Below are the all-stars and offensive and defensive MVPS (when provided) from all the NCAA squads.
NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH
MVPs: Marshall McCray (offence) and Braydon Snider DT (defence).
All-stars: Garrett Deschambeault OT; Hunter Kostyk OC; Jacob Tessier RB; Adrian D’Gyves WR/FS; Dayshawn Johnson WR/CB; Noah Chase OT; Ezra Sylvester-Lopez DT.
BLESSED TRINITY THUNDER
MVPs: Jayden Gurzi-Mcdonald (offence) and Hayden Burt (defence).
All-stars: Chase Balice FB/LB; Ethan Rakonjac LB; Wyatt Bezuyen LB; Justin Maniaci FS/WR; Aidan Sartor RB/WR/DB/ returner; Ryan Broome LT/DT.
SAINT MICHAEL MUSTANGS
MVPs: Jacob Gigliotti (offence) and Jacob Shannon (defence).
All-stars: Matt Elia; Nathan Carter; Lukas Cuthbert; Austin MacRae; Matthew Hodson; Gio Giampa.
SAINT PAUL PATRIOTS
MVPs: Jacob Jackson SB (offence) and James Zarafonitis.
All-stars: Julian Mangicasale; Mark Gimmi Matthew OG; Josh Upper DH; Christiano Colamartini SB; Jacob Jackson SB; Elijah Pappin LB/FB.
DENIS MORRIS REDS
MVPs: Michael Ukiomogbe DE/TE (defence) and Luca Marcone WR (offence).
All-stars: Lincoln Marsh QB; James Wilcox DT/OG
Matteo Pingue WR/kicker; Matteo Digiovanni OL/TE/PT; Jordan Preuss RB.
HOLY CROSS RAIDERS
All-stars: Noah Kugler; Joseph Marinellie; Jaxon Stewart; Aiden Dimtch.
LAKESHORE CATHOLIC GATORS
All-stars: Max Annunziata WR/S; Conner Cohoe OL; Nick Jubenville QB; Devon Dulmage WR/DB.